Prime Minister Narendra Modi will undertake a day-long tour of his Lok Sabha constituency on Friday during which he is likely to launch important schemes relating to power and road sectors, inaugurate a trauma centre inside Banaras Hindu University premises, and address a public meeting.
This will be the third visit of the Prime Minister to the ancient temple town after assuming office in May last year.
The much-awaited tour comes nearly nine months after his previous trip on December 25 last year.
However, his proposed tours were cancelled twice recently because of heavy rainfall on June 28 and on July 16.
Although the sky is overcast in many parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh, causing much consternation among those entrusted with organising the functions to be attended by Modi, the visit may go off unhindered this time since the monsoons have subsided and rainfall in the past few days has never been more than a drizzle lasting a few minutes.
Tight security arrangements are in place in view of the Prime Minister’s visit and a team of the Special Protection Group (SPG), which is directly responsible for his safety, arrived in the city on Tuesday itself.
Heavy deployment of police and paramilitary forces is also in place to maintain law and order and control traffic during the nearly seven-hour-long tour of the PM.
The security forces may face a tough challenge on account of thousands of beleaguered “Shiksha Mitras” (contractual teachers) reaching Varanasi to seek an audience with the Prime Minister.
The teachers are upset over the cancellation of regularisation of their service following a recent judgement of the Allahabad High Court, which ruled that the entire exercise being carried out by the Samajwadi Party government in the state was illegal.
The BJP, which won 71 out of 78 Lok Sabha seats it contested in UP last year, is likely to lead an aggressive campaign in the state where it will have to take on the formidable SP alongside Mayawati’s BSP in the assembly polls, which are just a little more than a year away.
Modi’s visit to this eastern UP town, from where the state’s border with Bihar is just about a 100 kms away, may also find political resonance in the neighbouring province where assembly elections have been announced and where the Prime Minister is looking forward to lead his party to victory surmounting a formidable challenge posed by the alliance comprising Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JD (U), Lalu Prasad’s RJD and Congress.
The Prime Minister is likely to arrive at Babatpur airport on the outskirts of the city at around 1130 hours, from where he would reach the Cantonment area by a helicopter and distribute e-rickshaws, tricycles and benefits under “Jan Dhan Yojana” to more than 600 people.
Modi would thereafter reach a special helipad constructed inside the premises of Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) where he would inaugurate the BHU trauma center through a remote control besides launching the ambitious Integrated Power Development Scheme, which aims at providing 24X7 electricity to people across the country and for which the Centre will be providing a budgetary support of about Rs 46,000 crore.
Modi will also lay the foundation stone for a “ring road” project for the city before signing off with a public rally.
As the Prime Minister’s visit will take place a day after his 66th birthday today, local BJP supporters have come up with a programme to ensure “Swachh (clean) Kashi” as a gift to their leader.
The supporters, acting under the banner of “BJP’s Investors Protection Cell”, have decided to distribute 660 (ten times the PM’s age) dustbins to boatmen ferrying pilgrims and tourists.
Besides, they propose to distribute “hygiene kits” comprising toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo etc.to 6600 (hundred times the PM’s age) labourers working in the city.